Reflections on Kneeling and Humility

“Our generation has lost the religious gesture of kneeling; we have become more a clapping generation. We seem to have compromised the virtue of humility with a culture of self-security and independence. If we dream of renewal, let us kneel again in adoration, in repentance and in service.”

Kneeling Adores
Bending the knee before the tabernacle in genuflection, kneeling down at the celebration of the Eucharist, kneeling down to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament – these are little but sublime acts of adoration that we must preserve and protect.

Kneeling Obtains Mercy
It is easier to remember that we are sinners when we kneel. It is easier to share the same mercy kneeling down, not from a higher moral level but from our shared sinful condition. “The bending of the knee is a token of penitence and sorrow of a penitent heart.” (St John Cassian)

Kneeling Atones
Kneeling atones for the countless profane actions against the Eucharist. As we bow down and adore the Eucharist, we also beg for mercy for the sacrilege and desecration the Sacred Species are repeatedly subjected to in many communities. We seek pardon for liturgical experiments and abuses: the narcissism among ordained ministers seeking popularity rather than piety; for taking the Mass for granted; for the irreverent attire and the cold interior disposition when we attend Mass.

Kneeling Humbles
We cannot celebrate mercy without repentance. We kneel in humility and repentance especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we kneel down to confess our sins and receive pardon.

Kneeling Renews
The family that prays together stays together.… Kneeling empowers families to stand up against the storms of life. Kneeling is strength.

[Taken from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Pastoral Exhortation entitled “Let Us Kneel Before The Lord Who Made Us” (Psalm 95:6)]


7 thoughts on “Reflections on Kneeling and Humility”

        1. That is one of the wonderful things about the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. They have altar rails in both the main and crypt churches. One receives kneeling and on the tongue there. Short of Extraordinary form parishes that is the only place I have seen altar rails used. I bet they are used in the Ordinariate too. My Great Aunt’s Episcopal Church uses them, though they receive kneeling and on the had which I thought was rather strange.

  1. Kneeling is an outward sign of Eucharistia. One must recognize the King as He enters the New Jerusalem. We must lay our coats and palms. It is a sign of His presence within manifesting His Transfiguration and our Transformation. It is a silence that sings a Heavenly song of praise and thanksgiving. It is a Royal vestiture that welcomes the Heavenly Court and marks the beginning of the Wedding Feast in which we process into His reign and glory. It is the mark of a Passover tradition in which the Passover Lamb has marked the doorway of our Tabernacle. It is the way one receives the King who enters into our abode with the Father to remain and supper with us. It is the truest form of contrition. It is Love!


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